Eryri (Snowdonia)

Eryri, Snowdonia in English, was the place in Gwynedd to which the Princes of Wales retreated, and their final stronghold when the English pressed on them from every side.  Mt. Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) has always been at its center, but it traditionally included the Carneddau range and essentially all the land west of the Conwy River. It is the land the Edward allowed Llywelyn ap Gruffydd to keep in the 1277 treaty.  Today, as a national park, it includes 838 square miles. From John T Koch, Celtic Culture: An Historical Encyclopedia: “The first literary mention of Eryri occurs in the 9th century Historia Brittonum, where an account is given of the downfall of the semi-legendary 5th century king Vortigern.  Pursued by his revolted Anglo-Saxon mercenaries and hated by his Brythonic countrymen, the king’s magi direct him to build a stronghold Read more…

Sharing some pics from Wales …

My husband has kept these hidden on his drive until now, so I hadn’t even seen them!   These two pictures were taken on a nothing of a road from Devil’s Bridge (east of Aberystwyth) through the Elan Valley to Cilmeri.  The road was protected by a cattle guard on either end, was really only one lane (albeit paved), and we saw two cars and a million sheep for the two hours we were on it.   The rock is broken over the English translation and at first I couldn’t believe what it said.  It is at ‘Llywelyn’s Well’, which you reach by following a narrow path and some stairs behind his monument at Cilmeri.  It should read “Legend has it that this is the well where the head of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was washed.” Dinas Bran:   Dolwyddelan and Read more…

Dolwyddelan Castle

   This is an aerial view of Dolwyddelan Castle, courtesy of this site:  http://www.coflein.gov.uk/images/l/DI2006_1686/ The site of Dolwyddelan Castle has been on a major thoroughfare through Wales for millenia.  Before the present castle was built by Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn ap Iorwerth) early in the 13th century, an older castle sat on a knoll on the valley floor below it.   http://www.castlewales.com/dolw.html Before that castle, a major Roman road through Snowdonia passed just to the east, connecting Tomen y Mur with the small fort of Bryn y Gefeilliau and the larger fort of Canovium (Caerhun).   (See Roman Roads:  http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=29) The present Dolwyddelan Castle has been heavily restored, in keeping with it’s position as the birthplace of Llywelyn Fawr, even if  that even really occured a quarter of a mile southeast of the present castle.   The newer Dolwyddelan Castle represented a major stronghold Read more…